What say you

• If that be the case, then,' cried he, very gay, • I'm glad I have taken this house in my way: To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words I insist on't precisely at three; We'll have Johnson, and Burke, — all the wits will be

My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare.
And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner,
We wanted this venison to make out a dinner.

a pasty ? it shall, and it must, And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter

this venison with me to Mile-end : No stirring, I beg - my dear friend, - my dear friend! Thus, snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And nobody with me at sea but myself ; Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty, Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty, Were things that I never disliked in my life, Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. So next day, in due splendour to make my approach, I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach.

When come to the place where we all were to dine, (A chair-lumbered closet, just twelve feet by nine), My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come ; • For I knew it,' he cried, "both eternally fail,

[ocr errors]

* See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry Duke of Cumberland, and Lady Grosvenor. 12mo. 1769.

The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale: *
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew :
They're both of them merry, and authors like you:
The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge;
Some thinks he writes Cinna —he owns to Panurge.'
While thus he described them, by trade and by name,
They enter'd, and dinner was served as they came.

At the top, a fried liver and bacon were seen ;
At the bottom, was tripe in a swinging tureen;
At the sides, there was spinage, and pudding made hot ;
In the middle, a place where the pasty

was not.
Now, my lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
So there I sat stuck like a horse in a pound,
While the bacon and liver went merrily round:
But what vex'd me most was that did Scottish

rogue, With his long-winded speeches, his smiles, and his

brogue; And, · Madam,' quoth he, “may this bit be my poison, A prettier dinner I never set eyes on: Pray, a slice of your liver, though may I be curst, But I've ate of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.' . The tripe !' quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek, I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week: I like these here dinners, so pretty and small;

* An eminent London brewer, M. P. for the borough of Southwark, at whose table Dr. Johnson was a frequent guest.


But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all. O ho !'quoth my friend, · he'll come on in a trice. He's keeping a corner for something that's nice : There's a pasty.'—“A pasty !' repeated the Jew, • I don't care if I keep a corner for't too.' • What the deil mon, a pasty !’re-echoed the Scot,

Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that.' • We'll all keep a corner, the lady cried out; • We'll all keep a corner,' was echo'd about. While thus we resolved, and the pasty delay'd, With looks that quite petrified, enter'd the maid : A visage so sad, and so pale with affright, Waked Priam, in drawing his curtains by night. But we quickly found out for who could mistake her? That she came with some terrible news from the baker: And so it fell out; for that negligent sloven Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven. Sad Philomel thus – but let similes dropAnd now that I think on’t, the story may stop.

To be plain, my good lord, it's but labor misplaced, To send such good verses to one of your taste : You've got an odd something -- a kind of discerning, A relish - a taste – sicken'd over by learning; At least it's your temper, as very well known, That you think very slightly of all that's your own. So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss, You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.


Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends occasionally dined at the

St. James's Coffeehouse. One day, it was proposed to write epitaphs on him. His country, dialect, and person, furnished subjects of witticism. He was called on for Retaliation, and, at their next meeting, produced the following poem.

Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
If our landlord * supplies us with beef and with fish,
Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish;
Our Dean t shall be venison, just fresh from the plains ;
Our Burke | shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains ;
Our Will & shall be wild-fowl of excellent flavor,
And Dick || with his pepper shall heighten the savor;

* The master of the St. James's Coffeehouse, where the Doctor and the friends he has characterized in this poem, occasionally dined.

† Doctor Barnard, Dean of Derry, in Ireland, afterwards Bishop) of Killaloe.

| The Right Hon. Edmund Burke.

§ Mr. William Burke, formerly secretary to General Conway, and member for Bedwin.

|| Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada.

Our Cumberland's * sweetbread its place shall obtain,
And Douglas † is pudding, substantial and plain ;
Our Garrick’s I a salad, for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
To make out the dinner, full certain I

That Ridge § is anchovy, and Reynolds || is lamb;
That Hickey's si a capon, and, by the same rule,
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
At a dinner so various — at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table;
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

Here lies the good Dean, reunited to earth,
Who mixed reason with pleasure, and wisdom with

mirth :
If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt -
At least, in six weeks I could not find 'em out;
Yet some have declared, and it can't be denied 'em,
That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.

* Mr. Richard Cumberland, author of The West Indian, The Jew, and other dramatic works.

† Doctor Douglas, Canon of Windsor, and afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, was himself a natvie of Scotland, and obtained considerable reputation by his detection of the forgeries of his countrymen, Larider and Bower. • David Garrick, Esq.

§ Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish bar.

|| Sir Joshua Reynolds. An eminent attorney.

« ElőzőTovább »